So it's been quite a while since I've reviewed an album and a slew of hip-hop albums have come out and it's time to do this.
Kendrick Lamar's major label debut dropped finally after being one of the most anticipated albums of 2012 and it lived up to and exceeded expectations. This is a modern classic, I truly have no words to explain how great this album is. There are two very minor gripes though, one the album is almost impossible to listen to without listening to the whole album, which isn't always bad. 2, there are little skits at the end of almost every track which tie the story together but some last a minute after the music has stopped which can get kind of annoying if you're just trying to listen to a track or two. Between "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe", "Backseat Freestyle", the 12-minute "Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst", and pretty much every other song GKMC is fantastic. The beats, production, vocals, the features, the story, this album really is a modern day Illmatic.
Meek Mill's debut album was also highly anticipated and for good reason, his mixtapes have gotten a lot of buzz and acclaim. I've never really loved him, he's got some good tracks between his tapes, his flow is rather basic and his lyrics aren't too great. This album is to me, a downgrade from the Dreamchasers series, those I could handle and usually enjoy, this album I have a very rough time getting through. Shockingly it's the tracks that are only rapped by Meek except the track "Maybach Curtains" which has Rick Ross and Nas rapping with John Legend singing the hook. That track is the biggest and best this album has to offer. "Traumatized", "Tony Story Pt. 2" and "Polo & Shell Tops" are really the only other tracks i can enjoy, not an impressive debut at all.
Machine Gun Kelly's debut was also anticipated, except unlike Meek Mill's this one is good. MGK is billed as being a very technical yet commercial sounding rapper and if you've been following his mixtapes you see that that's true. On his debut, it's not so much true, on Lace Up MGK shines on the slower, more personal tracks, he has emotion in his voice that just translates his pain. There are some cheesy hooks and lackluster songs and the high energy songs are good but it seems like he's trying to get away from that, between "Wild Boy", "Lace Up" "D3mons" and "Warning Shot" there really aren't any. The features on this album really shine, especially the surprising ones from M. Shadows and Synyster Gates from Avenged Sevenfold on the opening track. Tech N9ne and Twista show up on a track together which is an obvious stand out. It's not perfect, but it's a pretty good debut album, definitely worth the wait, I think to really make the experience fantastic you should download the Lace Up mixtape, it's higher energy and also has some fantastic heartfelt songs on it. Looking very forward to MGK's next project, whatever it is.